19 Sept 2015

Rossiter raves: I've 'always' admired 'fantastic' €144k-a-week World Cup Winner because of his 'passing range'

Liverpool youngster Jordan Rossiter put in an encouraging performance against Bordeaux on Thursday, and although he gave away too many free kicks, he appears to have the potential to carve out a career in the Premier League. If he makes it at Anfield, Rossiter will be following in the footsteps of some superb Liverpool midfielders, including Xabi Alonso, who is one of the 18-year old's footballing heroes.

Speaking to the Liverpool Echo this week, Rossiter enthused:

“Growing up, I always admired Xabi Alonso. His passing range, his composure on the ball – he’s someone I looked up to".

If you're going to have a role model, then Alonso - reportedly on €144k-a-week at Bayern Munich - is a great choice, and as Rossiter notes, the Spaniard's passing range, and composure on the ball were (and are) a joy to behold.

Unlike some, I find it hard to be enthusiastic about Liverpool's teenage footballers, though. After one or two decent performances, they're usually lionised and deified beyond recognition, and then, with very few exceptions, they tend to disappear into obscurity.

This pattern will inevitably repeat itself with Rossiter. The hype is already building, and if he gets a few more games over the coming months, then the cloying overpraise will reach ridiculous Sterling-esque levels.

It's no mystery why Rodgers seems to favour Rossiter. Apart from being British (and a Liverpudlian), he is an archetypal-British footballer: lots of stamina, running, tackling, hassling etc, but little in the way of guile, creativity, or attacking influence.

If Rodgers sees Rossiter as a defensive-midfielder, then the attacking part doesn't matter, but if he's being groomed as another Gerrard, then it remains to be seen if he's capable of influencing games in attack.

Whatever happens, I just hope that Rossiter is being developed with a specific position in mind.

In my view, making him into an Emre Can-style utility player is the worst thing that can happen, but I have a feeling that's how he'll end up.

British managers/fans/pundits seem to love versatile players, but positional specialists are arguably much more important, and Liverpool have very few of those.

Is Rossiter the new Gerrard, the new Alonso, or the new Hamann? Hopefully, he's not the new Allen.

Author: Jaimie K


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